Book Quote:

“We spend so much of our lives, you and me, figuring out the answers to mysteries. We’ve got so into the habit of it that we can’t leave anything alone. We’ve always got to take the wheels off and see how it works. And increasingly, I find myself wishing for a bit of inscrutability and vagueness. Being and doing instead of thinking and analyzing.”

Book Review:

Review by Eleanor Bukowsky (SEP 16, 2009)

In Beneath the Bleeding, Val McDermid brings back the formidable pair, Detective Chief Inspector Carol Jordan and Dr. Tony Hill, psychologist and profiler. Jordan and Hill have a lengthy history, and if circumstances had been right, they might have married and had a family. As it stands, they are close friends, and Hill is Carol’s landlord. When Tony is attacked by an axe-wielding madman, he is laid up with a severe leg wound, but he still has the mental acuity to assist Jordan with some tricky cases. They include the mysterious poisoning of popular footballer Robbie Bishop and a possible terrorist attack. Jordan does not always agree with Tony’s far-fetched theories, however, and the two have a way of butting heads when they do not see eye-to-eye.

DCI Jordan runs the Major Incident Team and she is something of a workaholic who pushes herself to excel. Occasionally, hours of fruitless labor with nothing to show for it makes her so frustrated that she drinks more than she should. Still, she is respected at the Bradfield Police headquarters, and the members of her team are generally eager to please her. McDermid individualizes each detective, including the brilliant computer wizard, DC Stacy Chen; the ambitious maverick, Sam Evans; the emotionally fragile Paula McIntyre; the personable and hard-working DS Kevin Matthews; and the briskly competent Detective Sergeant Chris Devine. Each has an important role to play in what will prove to be extremely challenging investigations. Other characters of note are Vanessa Hill, Tony’s horrifyingly selfish and overbearing mother and Yousef Aziz, a young man with a deadly secret.

This is a wonderfully entertaining and fast-paced police procedural. McDermid is an intelligent and highly skilled writer who makes the art of balancing a large cast and a complicated story appear effortless. She is an expert at leading the reader in one direction, and then surprising us with shocking developments that we could never have anticipated. The chemistry between Hill and Jordan remains strong, although with the baggage that these two carry, one wonders if they will ever be able to sort out their lives, much less their relationship. With its realistic dialogue, carefully constructed plot, intriguing psychological undercurrents, and lively prose style, Beneath the Bleeding is McDermid at her best, which is very good indeed.

AMAZON READER RATING: from 54 readers
PUBLISHER: Harper Paperbacks (September 15, 2009)
REVIEWER: Eleanor Bukowsky
EXTRAS: Excerpt
MORE ON MOSTLYFICTION: More Val McDermid reviews:


Lindsay Gordon Mysteries

Kate Brannigan Mysteries

Dr. Tony Hill & Carol Jordan Mysteries


September 16, 2009 В· Judi Clark В· No Comments
Tags: ,  В· Posted in: Sleuths Series, United Kingdom, y Award Winning Author

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